Tacoma Community College (TCC) English Instructor Latoya Reid was awarded the Faculty Excellence Award at the 2019 Faculty and Staff of Color Conference, held recently in Spokane, Washington.
Reid, who was nominated by her colleagues and students, was instrumental in expanding access to Learning Communities at TCC. The Learning Community model helps students connect to the college and build a strong educational foundation by taking two or more of their initial classes together. The classes are team-taught; Reid teaches the “Students Together Achieving Rising Statuses” (STARS) Learning Community with Sociology Instructor Dr. Andrew Cho and Human Development Instructor Nigeria Bell.
“There’s a whole body of research about how Learning Communities retain students of color and historically marginalized students,” said Reid.
With Dr. Judy Loveless Morris, then a TCC faculty member and currently the college’s Vice President of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Reid wrote an article in The Evergreen State College’s publication “Learning Communities Research and Practice” detailing how learning communities can be instrumental in retaining faculty of color.
In the classroom, Reid encourages students to think about how identity and socialization shapes writing by sharing her own story.
“I’m very open about my identity as a black woman, as a black teacher,” said Reid. “It’s important that my students, particularly historically marginalized students, know that they can be intelligent and articulate in this space without leaving the best parts of their identities at the door.”